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June 11, 2013 12:22 pm

Israel’s Intelligence Minister: Iran Moving Closer to Israel’s ‘Red Line,’ Wants a Nuclear Arsenal

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Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz. Photo: Beit Hashalom.

Iran is moving closer to Israel’s “red line,” Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Monday.

Speaking to a group of reporters, Steinitz said that the Islamic Republic’s eventual aim is to develop an industry capable of building up to 30 bombs a year.

“The Iranians are getting very close now to the red line… They have close to 200 kilos — 190 kilos (418 pounds) — of 20 percent enriched uranium,” Agence France Presse quoted Steinitz as saying.

“Once they have 250 kilos, this is enough to make the final rush to 90 percent,” —the level of enrichment required for a nuclear warhead.

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“It is a matter of weeks or maybe two months to jump from 20 percent to 90 percent with so many centrifuges.

“What they are doing now — instead of crossing the red line, they are widening and enlarging their capacity by putting in more centrifuges, faster centrifuges.”

Steinitz asserted that Iran won’t simply be content with a single bomb, but rather its goal is to build an arsenal.

“Many people are saying it’s a question of the Iranian bomb – whether they will have it or not. No. We are speaking about an Iranian arsenal,” he was quoted by AFP as saying.

Steinitz said that Iran has become fearful that an attack by the West could wipe out their nuclear program within hours.

“The Iranians feel very vulnerable, especially from American air operations. This is their main concern — that if the West, if NATO, if America decide to attack them, a few hours of accurate air raids might destroy their nuclear facilities,” he was quoted by AFP as saying.

He also dismissed the idea that Iran would change its nuclear policy.

“Nothing is going to change. There will be, unfortunately, no significant changes because of these so-called elections because (supreme leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei has already won,” he said.

“He is the leader and he makes the decisions and he already made his decision to spend many billions of dollars on building this nuclear industry with only one aim,” he charged.

“The decision was already made to get nuclear weapons — you don’t spent so much money and you don’t suffer $70 billion of losses (due to international sanctions) in one year only to show that you can spin some centrifuges,” he concluded.

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